By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. My family and I will be on vacation through September 6. I will occasionally add new items but for the most part we will repost “the best of the best” — the stories our readers have told us they especially liked over the last five months. This first ran May 5.
Okay, fill in the two-word blank. “[ _ _ ] are skilled wielders of symbolism, if not of subtlety.”
Well, if you are Nora Caplan-Bricker, the two missing words are “Abortion’s opponents”–aka, you and me.
The title of her piece on Slate is “The Latest Anti-Abortion Bills Double as Devilishly Good P.R.”
The title and the first two words of her post tell us where she is coming from and going to: the bills that we proposes–and are passing–are good P.R., ripe with symbolism, and not intended to leave anything to the imagination.
Let’s take one of Caplan-Bricker’s first examples. It is The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Act, which is on the verge of passing in two more states, increasing the number to six.
Interestingly, Caplan-Bricker shortens the title to “Dismemberment Abortions.” If one of her major arguments is that pro-lifers are devilishly cunning, then she has missed (or chooses to miss) an important component that explains why this legislation is beginning to make serious inroads.
It’s not just that something/someone is dismembered. It is that an unborn child–a human being, not an abstraction–whose life is ended by the abortionist who reaches into the mother’s womb and using a variety of sharp-edged metal clamps and tools, yanks off parts of the child, pulling them out, piece by piece. The child bleeds to death.
Caplan-Bricker interviewed Anne Davis, an OB-GYN and the consulting medical director for Physicians for Reproductive Health. “This is a familiar tactic, similar to the other types of bans we’ve seen,” she said “It seems the strategy is to take language that provokes emotional responses and then to argue that, because there’s an emotional reaction to something, it should be illegal.”
Lemme see if I understand this. It’s not developed here, but this is rote abortion-speak. Just because something is yucky or “gruesome” doesn’t mean anything.
We wrote about this last year when we dissected a piece by Sarah Erdreich which ran under the all-explaining headline, “Take It From Me: Abortion Isn’t More Gruesome Than Any Other Surgery.”
Erdreich’s tactic (and Caplan-Bricker’s)is a sub-set of a common strain of pro-abortion propaganda, the intent of which is to obscure and/or ridicule the normal human response to butchering unborn babies.
One typical approach is to bypass altogether what takes place and airily blame pro-lifers for appealing to the emotions. (Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!)
For instance, Caitlin Borgmann, former state strategies coordinator for the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, told the Associated Press that the language of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act is “meant to try to create an inflammatory description that people are going to read and then support the bill because their instinct is that this sounds terrible.”
Yes, to any morally sentient human being, ripping heads off of little torsos does sound terrible.
I’m rushed for time today, but tomorrow (I hope) I’d like to address Caplan-Bricker’s first example: a bill (SB 205) that, if Alabama Gov. Bentley signs it, “would shut down any [abortion] clinic within 2,000 feet of a K-8 public school.”
Talk to you tomorrow.